I get lots of emails like this through my website. I never reply to them because they just seem like spam. Thoughts?

i’m interesting about cello lesson.
but my house is burbank. i cannot go to your studio.
can you came to my house for cello lesson?
I want to know the tuition?
can you send to email me? xxxxxxxxx@live.com

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10 Responses

  1. I am. Although most of my students are bright, there is a fairly strong contingent of people, especially in LA, that do not have a good grasp of the English language. If they call me and then I email them, this is typical of the sort of limping patter of their written replies. Amazing, eh?

    In this economy, I don't want to turn students away, but this seems like a risk to respond to.

  2. OK, then. Enough correspondence to build a repertoire of "reasonable legitimate" responses, and follow the cardinal rule of blind dates: the first meeting/interview must occur in a neutral, public place.

    The more I think about it, the more I think you need to move to, I dunno, somewhere else.

  3. This could happen… anywhere. But you know what to do. Send an email back, or meet them in public for a few. You could determine from that meeting why they can't meet you at your studio possibly.

    Be careful!

  4. C'mon Emily. You're person who has been teaching me to accept my emotions without judgment – what does your gut tell you?

    This has assault written all over it. Somebody who has the means to continue cello lessons likely also has the education to try just a little bit harder than they did.

    Refer him to any competent male teacher that you know. That will be the end of him.

  5. The use of the word "tuition" twigs my nigerian-check-cashing-scam-dar. I doubt this person even lives in the US, let alone Burbank. I'd give him and email back and see how long he takes to ask if he can send you a ginormous check if you could only deposit it and give him 10%. On the odd chance that it is an actual human, I wouldn't have the first meeting in his home.

  6. That is a scam … I've gotten it before … really frustrating that those people exist and that they think it's ok to do what they do…

  7. Oh, I would never email them back. If it is a scam, then they know that their email has reached me, and the real spam assault begins.

    MT: Your assumption is generally true, but again, in LA, I have had many students (always temporary, never lasting more than 3 months) who really struggle with the language and common sense. One of my current students writes me almost completely incomprehensible emails…we always have to volley back and forth to make sure I know what they mean.

    NC: "Tuition" is right. Sounds like someone who is translating from French, oui?

    ML: Yep. That's the conclusion I came to, in the end. But we shall see if it escalates. Having a fairly public inbox online nets me some pretty interesting specimens.

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